"No War, No Negotiation" Is Iran's Stance

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Mehdi Khalaji - Khamenei is sincere when he declares that Iran is not interested in military escalation. Iran cannot afford - militarily or politically - a direct, conventional armed confrontation with any state, especially the U.S. or Israel. That is why the regime relies so much on asymmetric warfare, terrorism, and proxy warfare that can be carried out with some degree of plausible deniability. The idea is to remain a frightening threat while avoiding direct conventional war. Despite President Trump's offers to negotiate, Khamenei likely does not want to open talks with a leader who withdrew from the nuclear deal, continues to impose new sanctions, and uses humiliating rhetoric against the regime. The writer, a Qom-trained Shiite theologian, is a fellow at The Washington Institute.

2019-05-22 00:00:00

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